Consult the evidence

Discussions of the impact of fossil fuel consumption on our global climate offer competing views. On one hand are those arguing that alternatives to fossil fuels are inadequate and unreliable. On the other, several recent reports claim that carbon-free renewable energy, even applying today's commercially available technology, is sufficient to supply all our needs, or at least can contribute substantially.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory judges that by 2050, 80 percent of U.S. electricity generation could be powered by renewable technologies currently available. Since over 30 percent of our national carbon emissions result from electricity generation, this would make a substantial contribution.

Meanwhile, a Stanford University study indicates that all the power needed on the planet could be provided via renewable sources if we institute a hydrogen energy economy. Hydrogen can be ripped from water using renewable energy and then burned in vehicles basically like natural gas, but the product is carbon-free water. This idea is not new; it appeared in 2009 in Scientific American.

Those claiming it's impossible to eliminate fossil fuels should consult the evidence. All we need is concern for future generations and collective will. — Carol Rieth, Medford

Secession already dead

Actually, the Tehama County voters will not have a say on whether their little county will secede from California. The only entity that has the constitutional authority to do this is the California Legislature.

To paraphrase Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution, no new state can be created from one or more existing states without the consent of the legislatures involved and the approval of Congress. They, and all the other counties considering secession, can vote until they go blind and it will be nothing more than a rather expensive poll.

This secession/State of Jefferson foolishness is dead on arrival in any legislature. No state legislature is going to vote to dismember its own state. That is why this hasn't happened since the Civil War. The county boards of supervisors of Tehama and the other counties considering secession need to stop wasting time and money on this silliness and concentrate on solving their counties' considerable financial problems. That's what they were elected for. — Mark Everett, Medford

Thanks from Kiwanis

Ashland Kiwanis placed its Christmas giving trees at the Ashland Bi-Mart store and at the Ashland Tennis Club again this year. Trees were decorated with the names of children recommended by South Valley Community Human Services in Ashland.

Gifts that were not returned to us, or additional gifts that were needed to complete the gift-giving for a particular child, were shopped for by AHS Key Club members and purchased by Kiwanis. Kiwanis members and other "friends of Kiwanis" wrapped all of the gifts this week and will have them delivered before Christmas.

Kiwanis sends a big thank you to the Ashland community for taking the name tags and buying the special gifts requested by these children. Your generosity will help make Christmas for these kids a little brighter this year.

To learn more about Kiwanis, call 541-488-0532 or visit our website at www.ashlandkiwanis.org. — Ron Parker, Ashland Kiwanis Club

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